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About Preform


The term preform is currently being used for various flint objects which were not finished. The preforms provide a series of individual examples of the lithic technology indicating steps followed in the manufacturing process. Preforms are not tools as such, but they represent resources of raw material which could be transformed into a desired tool or implement. Obviously, the conversion of a chunk of flint obtained at the quarry source into a satisfactory projectile point or knife requires a series of reduction stages on behalf of the flint knapper. This usually requires the initial reduction of the flint block into a crude biface, the gradual thinning of the biface, and finally the shaping and completion of the desired tool. Consequently, a preform varies considerably in shape and the amount of work done, depending upon the stage of lithic reduction represented by the artifact. In one sense, a block of flint, a core, or a single flake that could be used for making an artifact might be termed a preform.